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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    14

    Lost weight ... and looking awful.....

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    I never thought I would write a vain post like this, but nevertheless, here I go.

    I am 56 (but feel 36 ), and have struggled with my weight all my adult life. When I was younger I sometimes went down to 54 kilos (about 119 lbs) and looked great - but quickly put it all back again. Last year I was up to almost 80 kilos (175 lbs) and finally decided enough was enough.

    This winter/spring I have gone down to 132 lbs, which I think is fine for my height (169 cm) and I am soooo pleased with my result ... but hereīs the anticlimax: I look terrible. My boobs are nothing but empty bags, my tummy is wrinkled and floppy (even though I do tummy exercises) and my arms are floppy and wrinkly. Even my legs look wrinkly. Today I took a good look at my body in the mirror and it could easily pass for the body of a 70 year old - which is fine if you are 70 but not a young and active 56 yearold .

    On the positive side: I feel great, psysically, I am so much fitter - last year I couldnīt run 500 yards, now I easily run 5 k and more and I am training for my first triathlon (a Sprint) and I have secret fantasies of an Ironman before I die.

    But boy, do I look terrible. When my 12 year old daughter saw me with only my bra on, she started crying, thinking I looked like "one of those people yopu see on TV, that stuff you DIE from!!" My husband, who likes voluptious women (even though he himself is a superfit Ironman type of guy) thinks I am way too skinny. I donīt want him to see my boobs now (or whatīs left of them) and all plans of finally having a bikini summer, are out the window.

    I havenīt actually lost too much, I think this is a reasonable weight for me, and I donīt really want to put it back on since my running is finally feeling good and I feel great. Well, sort of..... If it wasnīt for the looks. And I am not being silly a self conscious beyond reason now, I do look really old in my body.

    How much could weight training help, in filling out my body somewhat without adding fat again? Or is this the Choice - fat or voluptious? (Or is it "volumptious...? English is not my first language as I live on the other side of the planet from you.)

    Maybe I am just about to realize that at 56 this is how you look? And I certainly didnīt look good with that fat on either, just more rounded.... Sigh...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    Losing large amounts of weight often causes the issues you are describing. I'm not a coach, but since you didn't mention it, why don't you try adding in weight training? Losing weight often equals losing muscle mass and when we get older (I'm a couple of years ahead of you), we need to concentrate on building muscle mass to counteract the natural process of aging. If I was in your position, I would get some professional advice: strength training/exercise physiologist/PT (make sure it's a real professional) and a registered dietician.
    I think that a lot of people (women) ignore the strength issues, which can cause a lot of problems as we age.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    I agree that weight training should help, as it defines the body from under the skin. But there's just so much you can do, and at some point I guess you just have to decide how you feel about it. I think it's quite common for people who have lost a lot of weight to "need" plastic surgery to remove excess skin. I don't consider that vain at all, even though I'm all for accepting natural aging.

    I hope you have a blast training for your first sprint triathlon! I did my first and so far only sprint ltri ast year, and it was SO much fun :-D (And there will be lots of wrinkly people around, I promise you.) Masse lykke til, kjør på :-)
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Boo for the negative messages from your family. First and foremost, I hope you can get comfortable with the body you're in. It sounds like you've done a great job with the fitness and fat loss. I hope that you can continue to feel GREAT about yourself and the way you feel ... and the way you LOOK, too, even if it isn't exactly what you see in airbrushed pictures of supermodels in the magazines.

    We all lose skin elasticity as we get older. That's what causes wrinkles, and when you've lost a lot of weight, your skin is still the same size as it was when there was more fat underneath. Your skin is a living organ, so whatever you can do to keep it healthy will help maintain and possibly even restore some of its elasticity. Nutrition is #1 - plenty of raw vegetables and, once you've gotten enough fiber for the day, raw vegetable juices. Don't neglect protein, if most of your calories are coming from vegetables. An alkaline-forming diet. Hydration. Taking care of the connective tissue that connects with the skin by foam rolling and other self-myofascial release techniques. None of these will turn any of us into lingerie models, but they'll help your skin health, PLUS they'll make you feel better from the inside, which will help make you feel better about yourself.

    (((((LunaB))))) Without seeing you, I can just about guarantee you don't look "awful." Shame on people who tell you that you do.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Lakewood, Co
    Posts
    1,068
    For your boobs check out this subReddit. http://www.reddit.com/r/ABraThatFits/ There are other women there who are also going through weight loss and looking for advice there. Several of the members are bra fitters and can help you with bras that are good for your shape.

    A properly fitting bra will improve your looks and self esteem. You sound a lot like me. Boob tissue does migrate and with good fitting bras you will be surprised at the changes you'll see.

    If you're running you need a good fitting sports bra, too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    I want to echo what LPH stated. I don't think it's vain at all to have to have surgery to remove excess skin after a large weight loss. I actually know 2 people who have done this. Everyone has different feelings about this, and I hesitated to bring it up.
    You've worked incredibly hard, and you have the right to feel good about this.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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    2011 Guru Praemio
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    I don't have any additonal advice to add to the already great advice you've gotten. I just wanted to congratulate you on your weight loss and fitness gains. That's positively fantastic! I'm sorry that you've had to endure some negative reactions to it and hope that you don't let others' reactions change how feel about your accomplishments.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    138
    Parroting the weight training advice! When I lost a lot of weight all at once (27lbs in two months), I started looking like a crumpled plastic bag. But hitting the gym for those machines and to lift weights really tucked everything back in pretty well! I still have a tiny bit of loose skin in my arms, but I'm still beginning at the gym (only been a couple of weeks). If weight training doesn't cut it for you, don't feel bad if you do want a tuck. It's really important to feel good about your body.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    14
    I want to say a great big thank you for all the positive replies I have been getting on my post! I KNEW this forum was the one and only place to spill my beans! Thank you!

    I may not have enough loose skin for a tuck, but I admit that if I was in my 20īs or 30īs I would definitely save up to have my boobs fixed. Something that would never ever have crossed my mind even in my wildest dreams before. Now, at 56 .... hm, I donīt know, I may just have to live with them...?

    And weight training will be next on my agenda! I lost the weight very rapidly on a real crash diet, so I probably lost a lot of muscle in the process.

    And with clothes on I think I look pretty good at the moment

    Och, lph - Tusen Tack!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    I just wanted to echo what others have said - you have done something amazing! Since you lost it fast, I would say give it some time. Skin can take some time to adjust - and add weight training as others have said. If the boobs bother you, I don't think your age should be a limiting factor if it's what *you* want to do for *you*. You're active, you're in great shape - do what it takes for you to feel that way. I don't think you need to settle because you're 56!
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,828
    I too have lost a lot of weight, albeit much more slowly than you, and at a slightly more advanced age. I do seriously weight and resistance train, ride, drink lots of water, eat a healthy diet, etc so mostly although flabby I am not too wrinkly. About the only thing I ever consider getting some skin work done on is my bye bye bingo arms which actually flap noisily if I hold my arms in the the wrong position going downhill on my bike at speeds over 20 miles But hey, I'd rather save my money for a new bike.

    Congratulations on your weight loss. That's a great accomplishmentany time any how especially if you feel fit.
    marni
    Katy, Texas
    Trek Madone 6.5- "Red"
    Trek Pilot 5.2- " Bebe"


    "easily outrun by a chihuahua."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    2,024
    I echo the suggestion to get a good fitting bra. If hubby likes you 'voluptuous', get one with padding for the boudoir! You could also get a swimsuit with a padded bra like top. A good bra will do wonders for how you look in your clothes. Then work on the weight training to firm and tone your skin. I would say give it a year, and if you have maintained the weight loss but still are unhappy about saggy skin, then consider surgery.
    Last edited by Triskeliongirl; 05-09-2013 at 06:26 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    Congrats LunaB! Better to feel healthy and energetic even though right now you wish you looked more taunt.

    Just wondering for cycling, do you cycle more regularily longer distances now?

    Swan, you mentioned elsewhere in another thread that you regained abit of weight but are working away at it? Hope you find a job soon....
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    14
    Thank you, shootingstar! I have a few "circuits" which I cycle, the longest one is 48 k, or 110 k if I go around both lakes. Yesterday I did the 48 k one for the first time after loosing weight, and even though my average was pretty much the same, I felt much stronger AND most of all, I did much better on the hills, where normally I almost fall off the bike from lack of breath! So things definitely feel better in that sense! I think I need to focus on all the positives

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    Way to go, Luna! Yup, body weight plays quite a big role on the hills. It must feel fantastic to be able to do them without the extra weight.

    I hope you have fun with weight training. If you're not used to it you will be sore, but it can also help you feel at home in your body in a way that running and cycling doesn't necessarily do. Well, it does for me anyway. I think the proper term is proprioception, the sense of where everything is and how it works together.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

 

 

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